The MCWSG is chaired by fourth generation Upper Clutha high country sheep farmer, Allan Kane, who has strong community and environmental values.
“I believe in integrating farming and conservation to avoid negative effects and I enjoy creating structures, or removing road blocks, so communities or groups are able to work together to achieve an agreed solution or a desired outcome.”
Allan has a proven ability to help people with varying viewpoints reach an acceptable agreement. He founded the Upper Clutha Vegetation Control Group which finds alternatives to burn-offs and, when there is no alternative, involves all parties concerned to ensure the operation is safe and contained.
A merino farmer, Allan has dedicated many years to the wool industry, including a decade on the New Zealand Wool Board, which involved a stint as the deputy chairperson. He has also chaired the WRONZ (Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand) and been a director of the International Wool Secretariat, which drives the global wool market.
Allan’s son, Sam, has now taken over the family farm after many years helping third world countries improve their agricultural systems to reduce poverty.
The 5260 hectare property, Glenfoyle Station, runs 10,000 merino sheep and 60 breeding cows. None of the land is irrigated and the Kanes have planted a large amount of native trees and shrubs.
Allan and his wife Barbara have three other children – Gretchen, who is mother to their first grandchild, lives in Akaroa and is married to a butcher who is the former marketing manager of the New Zealand Merino Company. Prue has an import wholesale business in Wanaka and Zoe is a winemaker for Mt Difficulty Wines.
A member of Fish and Game and a keen back-country fly fisherman, Allan has contributed to many agricultural and community organisations, including Young Farmers, Federated Farmers, the Upper Clutha A&P Society and rabbit boards. He spent a decade in the territorial force army, was deputy chair of Treble Cone during the ski field’s early years, sat on the St Hilda’s Collegiate School board, chaired Pioneer Generation for 13 years and is a current director of Central Otago Health Services Ltd.
Allan is committed to finding common ground between agricultural, environmental, economic and social interests and ensuring the way the Manuherikia Valley’s water is used in the future is acceptable to all parties.